La Cicala Spanish Gastro Bar – Launches Hardys Wine.

People say, passion is everything. In the below summarized story, it is evident.

William Hardy.

William Hardy.

Being the fifth generation descendent of the Hardys Family, William Hardy has displayed the same quality and knack for wine-making as his great-great grandfather, Thomas Hardy, the person of it all. The hard work and training as a Trainee Winemaker some 40 years ago have made what is of William Hardy today. Because of his outstanding resume of being a remarkable winemaker and brand ambassador, a couple of hot off the oven vineyard wines are specially named after him. Hell yes, not everyone can successfully have wines named after them, can they.

Wine Selection.

Wine Selection.

Earlier this week, William Hardy was at Hong Kong for the launch before coming to Singapore on Wednesday for its second round in the region. The three wines debuting in Singapore are the Sir James Vintage Pinot Noir Chardonnay, William Hardy Shiraz, and William Hardy Chardonnay. If you read on, you will be ushered into my amateur world of wine; how these wines taste and smell to me.

The night was later kicked off proper with specially crafted dishes to complement the stars of the night.

Appetizer - Spanish Ham with Country Toast.

Appetizer – Spanish Ham with Country Toast.

(Appetizer) Spanish Ham with Country Toast :: While I am in complete love with the Hand Sliced Spanish Ham sitting on a bed of Tomato Dip, the Country Toast did not quite meet the bar of its counterpart. In comparison, it was lackluster. Fortunately, the good trumps the bad in this case.

Appetizer - Croquetas.

Appetizer – Croquetas.

(Appetizer) Croquetas :: Possibly one of the best Croquettes I’ve had. I like how the breaded part of the dish is firm and crispy, but once you get your fork through the wall, you’d be treated to a ball of soft as cream mashed potato with chorizo, and a hint of fontina cheese. The well-balanced resultant texture of the opening dish makes the people at the table yearn for more.

2008 Sir James Vintage Pinot Noir Chardonnay.

2008 Sir James Vintage Pinot Noir Chardonnay.

2008 Sir James Vinage Pinot Noir Chardonnay :: Rich with nuances of lychee, butter sautéed mushroom and lanolin, this bottle of premium wine is what made Hardys the biggest-selling wine brand in the UK. And I foresee the same when it hits the shore in Singapore. I don’t know what is taking them so long, because if they want to tackle the veterans and dabblers alike, this is the one. Most at the table sang endless praises for the Chardonnay, having a finishing of a fresh and crisp natural acidity. Alcohol Level: 12.5%

Swordfish.

Swordfish.

Swordfish :: The Ceviche of Swordfish with Seagrape and Beet Emulsion. I thought it was just adequately flavored to match the William Hardy Chardonnay, whose taste is on the other end – having a rather fruity touch to it. I, for one, love the texture of it.

2012 William Hardy Chardonnay.

2012 William Hardy Chardonnay :: $37 per bottle

2012 William Hardy Chardonnay ($37/bottle) :: Thanks to components from cooler areas such as Padthaway and McLaren Vale, this creamy, fresh and lively Chardonnay portrays a delicate sweet peachiness + lemon zest to it. It tasted elegant and complemented its course well. It is dry and has a pretty generous length. Though for me, it was behind the shadows of the above Pinot Noir Chardonnay. Alcohol Level: 13.5%

Dry Aged Striploin.

Dry Aged Striploin.

Dry Aged Striploin :: Designedly making it smoky and charcoal-y to complement the Shiraz, the Striploin is aged for 10 days and served with Roasted Potato and Sherry Jus. You know after many glasses of wine, people would just sit around and enjoy the rest of the dinner. But not for this – I haven’t tasted such satisfying beef in a while. It doesn’t have the gamey smell (though I love it), and the Chef got the toughness just right. I don’t like my beef / steak too easy to bite, chew and swallow. I like it in my mouth long enough to have a good taste of it.

2012 William Hardy Shiraz.

2012 William Hardy Shiraz :: $37 per bottle

2012 William Hardy Shiraz ($37/bottle) :: And of course, with red meat comes red wine. I am commonly more of a White Wine person than a Red. However, I find William Hardy’s Shiraz easier to drink than usual. It is full bodied with plum, blueberry, blackberry, vanilla and clove spice. Also, it doesn’t have as much the ‘siapsiap‘ feeling. My favorite pairing of the night has to be the Striploin + Shiraz. Pure indulgence. Alcohol Level: 14%

Tiramisu.

Tiramisu.

Tiramisu :: La Cicala Spanish Gastro Bar’s own rendition of Tiramisu is quite the unique. The entire dessert course isn’t completely a mash up of all the ingredients. You can taste the cheese, the mascarpone custard with masala gelee and the espresso foam individually, or you can compose the percentage of each yourself and put it into your mouth. I quite like it. It doesn’t bore you.

Whisker Blake Classic Tawny.

Whisker Blake Classic Tawny.

Whisker Blake Classic Tawny (8 year) :: This class piece exhibits a smooth palate and mellow with good length, complete with a dry finish. Its raisin content is evident in its smell and taste. Relatively sweet to end the sweet sweet night. Alcohol Level: 18%

I speak for someone who hasn’t had much experience with wine, Hardys Wine is the right wine to start with, simply because (1) it is affordable and accessible (available at Jasons Marketplace & Cold Storage), and (2) it’s easy to drink.

La Cicala Spanish Gastro Bar is in the right spot for working adults to wind wine down after a long day a work, since it’s right smack in between Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown. Strategic location I say.

Special gratitude to Magdalene and the Brand Cellar team, the Auric Pacific team, the Accolade Wines team, and the La Cicala Spanish Gastro Bar team for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting.

Address: 49 Club Street
Telephone: 6534 8812
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Thurs); 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 11.30pm (Fri); 6pm – 11.30pm (Sat)

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